Make sure you get treats, not tricks, this Halloween.

Make sure you get treats, not tricks, this Halloween.

Don’t be tricked this Halloween season

Scary traps to avoid during this Halloween shopping season

Believe it or not, only Christmas ranks higher than Halloween in terms of annual spending among North American households.

Halloween isn’t just for the kids anymore, either. Adults participate in countless parties and go the extra mile to make their homes look dark and scary for the big night.

With Halloween shopping in mind, much of which is now done online, consumers need to be wary of policies from seasonal stores and potential scams.

Pop-up stores

Ask at the store how long they plan to occupy their building. See if they have a website in case you need to contact them later, and inquire about their return policy in detail.

Save every receipt

Use a credit card so you can dispute problems with the card’s issuer, and understand that many purchases from these stores may be considered “final sale”.

Some people recommend shopping nearer to Halloween. Retailers may lower prices on candy, costumes, and decorations to move them out. But remember that buying a bunch of stuff with the intent of simply returning it after October 31 is considered fraud.

Check www.bbb.org to review business profiles.

Ordering online

Make sure the website is secure, encrypted, and reputable. Order well in advance so you get your product early, and read reviews and comments before using the site. And remember that the cheapest deal isn’t always the best deal.

Shop with a credit card

Avoid downloading Halloween-related links for special offers. Last year, an offer of Halloween cut-outs unloaded a Trojan virus to unsuspecting users.

Avoid click-bait social media pop-up ads; you might end up giving away personal information. And if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.